Some users of the Facebook iOS app are seeing a new feature displayed today. The social company is currently testing “Related Content” as a new feature. These cards display information you might find relevant to certain status updates. Some in the mobile industry have dubbed the feature similar to Foursquare, as it mimics the popular site’s check-in feature’s information update.
The Facebook app will read status updates users are following and display contextually relevant cards for the content. If a user checks in at a location, shares a favorite song, movie, or television show, the app will display information such as “Friends who watched” so users are clued in on friends posting relevant content. Users will see cards for friends’ posts about a certain location as well, such as “Friends who posted about the Grand Canyon.” The cards are actually color-coded, a sharp departure from Facebook’s standard blue-and-white scheme. The colors are listed below according to category:
- Birthdays: Blue
- Locations: Red
- Photos: Yellow
This new feature of course opens new opportunities for marketing, one of Facebook’s favorite things. Entertainment companies, restaurants, and other businesses will probably be ready to seize the opportunity to market to consumers on the related content cards.
The context cards are a bold attempt to “connect” friends through common interests, locations and more. It also features card of photos of previous gatherings of friends or family. This feature is currently only running as a test, and is not available to all users. Many have compared the cards to similar to Google Now, however, the cards do not display information in real-time.
Speaking about this new update, Facebook representatives stated, ““These cards can help you discover information about where you are or what to do next, or inspire conversations with your friends around you. This feature respects all existing privacy settings, and the card will only show you information that you could already see elsewhere on Facebook. We wanted to make it easier for you to interact with your friends about the things you’re doing and the places you are visiting.” If users respond positively to the context cards, app users should probably expect to see them rolled out for all.
Also available on the newest version to the Facebook iOS app for all users is the ability to create posts when not currently connected to the internet or in airline mode, so users can save a draft to be posted later. The app also added post previews, so users can see what the post looks like and fix any errors or links before sharing with friends. Facebook also reported on the app’s iTunes page that the update included “News Feed load faster, especially on older phones and tablets.”